Although he had been training for the role for most of his life, Ignoisco Miles still had butterflies in his stomach when it was time for him to lead Camp S.O.U.L. (Students Obtaining Unique musical Levels) last summer.
The weeklong camp, held on the IU Bloomington campus, is open to talented high school vocalists and instrumentalists through IU’s African American Arts Institute (AAAI), an Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) program and takes place June 11-16. The selected students are introduced to life on a college campus through living in residence halls and meeting various members of the campus community, from current students to staff at the admissions departments and OVPDEMA programs like the Groups Scholars and Hudson & Holland Scholars programs. But foremost on the minds of both Miles and the students at last year’s camp was daily progress toward a culminating performance for the students’ families and the general public on the final day of the camp.
“Every single day, I was nervous,” said Miles, an Indianapolis native who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theatre from IU Bloomington and is scheduled to complete a master’s degree this summer through IU’s department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS).
It wasn’t easy to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Tyron Cooper, the former director of AAAI’s IU Soul Revue and the camp’s founder. But Miles’ connection to the students eventually led to a successful first-time experience for the fledging actor and vocal coach.